Driving in Spain – incidents on the N340

We’ve just come back from a trip on the N340 between Málaga and points south. The well-known coast road that for the most part runs by the sea, through the amazing, totally overbuilt Costa del Sol from Torremolinos down to Estepona, and further.

In fact with the amount of buildings that are going up at La Duquesa (south of Estepona), the non-stop urban monstrosities will soon reach San Roque.

The road is part dual carriageway, part motorway, and if you choose, part cruising through the towns, but we have stopped doing that because it really is too, too slow. Although prettier.

The Spanish drive fast. Most people on motorways drive fast. The national traffic department regularly publishes statistics about how many people die over the weekend.

For the 1 May Bank Holiday weekend 2007 (celebrated here on the first and not the first Monday as in the UK), there were only 45 deaths. And this was good news, because 13 people less died this year than last year.

In a couple of trips we have experienced:

1) A strange guy driving very slowly (30mph – or perhaps it was 30kph) on the dual carriageway, held everyone up until we could all pass him.

When we passed him he seemed more interested in his nose than driving. Not sure whether he was picking it or what. With the bit of silver foil in his hand.

Later on he woke up. And overtook everyone again. Half an hour later on the three-lane motorway coming into Málaga he was in the outside lane doing 30 something an hour again. With everyone amazingly slowing down and managing to avoid him. Again.

2) Going through Málaga in the other direction, a car stopped dead in the middle lane. Two guys getting out leisurely to retrieve their obligatory yellow jackets from the boot before they started messing around with the car. The ones they should have been wearing before they even stepped out onto the motorway.

We just couldn’t work out why they had stopped. Not an ideal spot though. Downhill. Traffic speeding up or flying off on one of the city exits. Still, another accident narrowly avoided.

3) The rude, ignorant, and aggressive driver of a Q8 tanker somewhere between Málaga and Rincon de la Victoria. The stretch of road where the speed limit is 100kph and we were doing around 85 and it wasn’t fast enough for him so he started tailgaiting and hooting his horn.

Yes we were in the inside lane. Yes he could have overtaken but chose to be abusive and intimidating for a while first. Then he overtook, hooted his horn, and cut in front of us. It was fairly obvious he was going to do that so we were expecting it.

We are not the only vehicle on a motorway that doesn’t do the maximum speed. We were not doing 30kph and picking our noses. We do not have a new vehicle or a company vehicle that will be replaced when it has died after abuse on the motorway.

A maximum speed limit of 100 kph is exactly that. It does not mean a minimum speed limit of 100kph that we should all be doing, and that everyone else who really wants can do at least 120kph.

We are looking forward to the day when Spanish trucks have nice signs on saying “Do I drive well, if not – report me….” Ojala.

More on the N340 and Spanish driving later….

9 comments on “Driving in Spain – incidents on the N340

  1. Thanks very much for popping round to my blog. After reading your post about driving in Spain, I thought I’d link through to my post about driving from Sydney to the Queensland Gold Coast via the Pacific Highway…an Australian driving story.
    ON this trip, I finally managed to master cruise control. I had a speeding ticket recently and am keen to avoid any more. It also makes long drives much more relaxing.
    My main gripe with driving here is slower drivers going into the right hand overtaking lane and not pulling across and slower drivers speeding up when you reach an overtaking lane.
    Hope you are having a great weekend. Its freezing here.
    xx Rowena


    • I’ll have a read. My partner spent some time driving in Aus. From Melbourne to Darwin and then to Queensland and down the GC. He’s hitched the evil GC highway too. Not something I’d do. I’ll be having a browse around your blog when I have time – I got married in Sydney :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Probably my best effort was driving across the Nullarbor from Sydney to Perth but I didn’t do much of the driving. That took 10 days. I’ve been across there a few times on the train as well. Not unsurprisingly, I’d rather fly.
        Where about’s did you get married in Sydney? I got married in Sydney too in my school chapel. It was all very sentimental and romantical…a bit old fashioned.


          • Your partner is game but it sounds like it was before the story of the backpacker murders got out. That really was the end of innocence.
            I left school in 1987.


          • It’s interesting because usually it’s the locals who know where to avoid but I hadn’t heard that before.
            Worth coming back to visit Queensland and Northern NSW. Byron Bay is one of my favourite places. It has a stunning white sandy beach and alternative culture. Just stunning!


          • I saw a doco on Cuba recently and would love to get there soon. I went to Leipzig in 1992 not long after the wall had come down and Germany reunified. It was still pretty untouched and that was an experience. My friend went into Hungary and Czechoslovakia and I wished I’d done that at the time.
            I nknow what you mean about needing more than one life time. We have youngish kids and so our doing more Australian travel. More affordable but also important for everyone to know their own country.


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